Secretary Chao, center, Dec. 11 announced the BUILD grants at U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) headquarters in Washington, D.C. She was joined by U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing &Urban Development (THUD) Chair Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and ranking member Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), House Appropriations THUD Subcommittee Chair Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and ranking member Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), and Youngstown, Ohio, Mayor Jamael Brown.

By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Dec. 11 announced $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding to 91 projects in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The grants are made through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants program and support road, rail, transit, and port infrastructure projects across the country.

Two thirds of the projects involve roads. Some of the biggest awards include completing a 4.8-mile, four-lane interstate facility in southwest Missouri that will bypass US-71 and connect to Interstate 49 in Arkansas; repairing and upgrading approximately 3.5 miles of high-use service roads in the Lower Yukon River Regional Port in Alaska; extending the Hot Springs East-West Arterial Bypass in Arkansas; building improvements on approximately 9 miles of State Road 19 in Mississippi; and replacing approximately 77 bridges in 17 rural counties in North Carolina.

The grants will contribute to the construction or refurbishment of over 200 bridges nationwide, from North Carolina to the refurbishment of the Brooklyn Bridge. See the full list of projects.

BUILD grants were known previously as TIGER grants. The maximum grant award is $25 million for a single project, and no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single state. There is a $5 million minimum award for projects located in urban areas, and a $1 million minimum for rural projects.